GREENVILLE, N.C. – Celeste Stewart led a trio of Pirates who tallied double-figures in East Carolina’s 74-54 win over Campbell to conclude the ECU Pirate Thanksgiving Tournament on Sunday evening at Minges Coliseum. Stewart finished the game with 17 points, just one shy of tying her career-high.
East Carolina (5-1) was led by Stewart’s season-high 17 points, game-best eight assists, two rebounds and two steals as well as a 15-point effort by Whitny Edwards and a 10-point performance by Britny Edwards. Whitny Edwards finished the contest with a team-high seven rebounds and two steals, while Britny Edwards added six boards, two blocks and a steal. Freshman Colleen Marshall came off the bench and notched eight points, with two rebounds, a pair of steals and an assist, while sophomore Janesha Ebron registered seven points, with one assist and one rebound. Kyani White also had seven points in the game and contributed six assists, two steals, and one rebound.
The Pirates won the opening tip and Whitny Edwards drove it to the basket to give ECU an early 2-0 lead over Campbell (4-2). East Carolina’s two-point lead to start the game would last throughout as the Pirates never trailed in the contest. ECU’s offense surged and the Pirates took a double-digit lead (13-2) after a Whitny Edwards trey at the 16:18 mark. While the offense flowed, the defense was stout as ECU limited the Camels to 27-percent shooting the first half.
ECU took advantage of the cold-shooting Camels and capitalized on 21 turnovers by the visitors to increase the Pirate lead to as many as 18 points (41-23) in the first half. At the break, ECU held a commanding 41-25 lead over Campbell which entered the tournament with an unblemished record at 4-0.
Campbell fought back in the second half and cut the Pirates’ lead to 13 (45-32) after Roslyn Presley sunk her free throw to complete the three-point play after being fouled on a jumper. East Carolina would not ease up and the Pirates countered with a jumper from Britny Edwards at 17:04 to put ECU back up by 15 (47-32).
Ariana Jackson helped increase East Carolina’s lead to 20 (59-39) after a layup from Marshall. The Pirates didn’t stop there as the hosts pushed their lead to as many as 27 (72-45) after White drained a three-pointer from Stewart at the 7:38 mark of the second half. With the clock winding down, the Pirates continued to hold onto their commanding lead and took the game by a final score of 74-54.
With a pair of impressive performances during the tournament, Britny Edwards was named Tournament MVP. Celeste Stewart and Whitny Edwards garnered All-Tournament honors along with Tonisha Baker of Campbell, Anna Freeman of Appalachian State and Quineshia Leonard of Norfolk State.
Baker led Campbell with 10 points in the contest and added five rebounds with two steals and an assist. Kiera Gaines recorded seven points and eight boards, while Presley finished the game with nine points.
East Carolina will hit the road for just its second road contest of the year as the Pirates head to Annapolis, Md., to compete in the Navy Classic. ECU will battle it out with the Midshipmen Friday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. The following day, the Pirates will go up against either Monmouth or High Point in a 3:30 p.m. contest on Saturday, Dec. 1.